Sprinting is a form of running at a constant speed and fluid motion. Sprinting is often very short, very hard and tiring work. It is a very powerful movement, used in every popular sport. Most all time great athletes tremendous speed and power through their legs.
Jogging (or yogging with a soft j) is what we think of when someone says “I’m a runner.” Jogging is the slow long distance that we see in a small number of Olympic events and also the weekend marathon that causes traffic jams and street closures. Even worse you DRIVE to the gym to workout on a freaking treadmill! Unless the weather is ridiculous, go outside!!!!
Since 1968 when Dr. Kenneth Cooper said long steady state aerobic work was best, we’ve seen triathlons explode, running groups turn into herds, and the physical therapy profession develop. Jogging has somehow become the go to exercise for everything and I DON’T KNOW WHY! Personally it is incredibly boring and time consuming. Now if you love to run because it is a passion I am not saying to stop. Anything that you love continue to do, but remember it does not cure the common cold or any cancers. OK maybe I’m being more negative towards jogging but here is why.
First think of your goal of your exercise. Common goals are fat loss, rehab, increased sport performance (strength gain, endurance, power, flexibility, etc), weight gain, and stress release. It also could be a combination of all of these. Now lets see what jogging can do for these goals.
Fat loss: As much as runners magazines will claim the number of calories it burns, long slow distance is actually one of the least efficient ways to burn fat. Countless studies have come out to show proper nutrition mixed with high intensity interval work and strength training are most efficient for fat loss. If you don’t believe me check out Alwyn Cosgrove’s Afterburn system, and see his before and afters. I don’t work with too many fat loss clients but seeing what he does and his ACTUAL results, I train fat loss clients the same way.
Ladies your choice of the ripped muscles guys vs Skeletor
Rehab: 70% of joggers are injured in an average year. Ok, yeah football players might get injured once a year, but how many people do you tackle when going for a jog? Unfortunately I may tell you your life story of the past 5 years right now if you jog. Jog for 2-5 months, get some sort on injuryà go to physical therapist (but still run secretly) and get treatmentà feel better one morning so make up for lost miles you go on a loooong runà hurt again…. Back to the physical therapist, and repeat.
Most become injured so often because they run to be fit instead of get fit to run. You need a base of strength and that comes from…. Dun Dun Dun…. Strength Training. It sounds ridiculous I know, but adding in some sprints and weights twice a week might help you be a better jogger if that’s what you desire. Thinking "I need to start running to get back in shape" should be, "I should get back in shape so i can go running."
Sport Performance: Many ball sport athletes think their endurance should come from a good 5-7 mile run. Ok now in all ball sports the average sprint is 3-5 (maybe 10 on a long play) seconds with walking in between. If you don’t think so watch one player throughout a soccer game. Yes a LITTLE bit of steady state endurance training might help but not running constantly. Your body adapts to what you do, so if you run slow long distance, you actual become slower. Train fast be fast, train slow be slow. Fast isn’t a 6 minute mile when your sport(s) require you to all out sprint for a fast break. If your sport is cross-country or long distance track, adding some strength will keep you healthy throughout your grueling season. Also if you love to compete in endurance competition, research the training regime of a guy named Emil Zátopek. It probably will make your head spin.
Stress Reliever: Ok you got me here. Jogging can be a great stress reliever for many people. This is the part where I say the cliche, “just do what you love.” It’s true though, but try punching a bag (or human), slamming a med ball, or competing in some athletic event. If the “runners high” is something you need though, please do so. The only other time I may see you is on the freeway.
My opinion is that going for a jog is for very few people. Like me, I feel many people enjoy fast games that are fun, hence why over time we invented games like tag, basketball, soccer, football. Instead of take 10 minutes to go fetch the sugar at the neighbors house and back. Even if you do love to jog, adding sprinting, strength training, and ball sports can be very beneficial. First ask yourself what is my goal for exercise? If running fits the bill by all means go ahead. If you love to jog, please continue, but first ask what you are trying to achieve and what’s the best way to do that.